WordPress.org released version 3.9 last week. They named this release “Smith” in honor of jazz organist Jimmy Smith. There are over 200 changes in WordPress 3.9. The changes came in four major areas: the Visual Editor, Media Handling, Widgets, and Themes. You can now paste directly from Microsoft Word without bringing in all the excess code. It’s true the “kitchen sink” area of the Visual Editor always had a paste from Word function but now you can paste directly into the editor window.
Media handling is much improved with drag and drop of images and videos directly into the visual editor window, resizing and other good stuff built right in. This should save you lots of time having to edit the images before bringing them into WordPress. You can also visually see galleries rather than just the large placeholder box.
The Theme customizer now includes widgets! This will make it so much easier to see what the page will look like BEFORE you click Save.
Finally, it is much easier to browse themes in the WordPress.org repository with preview built in.
Should you upgrade to WordPress 3.9 now? Cloudways, the producer of this infographic, thinks you should. I, on the other hand, say NO! You should wait until your plugins are compatible with this new version. For example, if you use Ultimate TinyMCE, you will find that it is not compatible (as of the writing of this article). Besides plugins, there are also probably bugs and security fixes that need to happen first so…wait until 3.9.1 comes up before upgrading.
If you need assistance with upgrading your site (are you at the latest version before 3.9, which is 3.8.3?), we’d love to help. Contact us here.